Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Vic Bloomfield, Mary Bloomfield, February 5, 2008

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:01 - Family businesses

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Partial Transcript: We, we claim that the store started in, in 1885. Actually, it didn't start until 1886 because, uh, my grandfather, Vic, was in--he started in business in Winchester in 1885.

Segment Synopsis: Vic Bloomfield talks about the store his grandfather started in Winchester, Kentucky in 1885. Mary discusses her family and their store. She talks about her family coming to America. She talks about moving to Lexington and various places the store was located over the years.

Keywords: Cheapside; Family businesses; Family stores; Fires; Grandfathers; Main Street (Lexington, Ky.); Moving; Wars

Subjects: Families.; Frankfort (Ky.); Jewish businesspeople; Jewish merchants--Kentucky--Lexington.; Winchester (Ky.)

GPS: Winchester, Kentucky
Map Coordinates: 37.994722, -84.184167
00:08:23 - Large Jewish families

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Partial Transcript: So--and what brought them to Winchester? So he was in--your great-grandfather was in Louisville?

Segment Synopsis: Mary and Vic each describe their families in detail. They talk about large Jewish families and intermarriage. They discuss preserving Jewish culture. They talk about whether anyone in their family was in a concentration camp or came through Ellis Island. They talk about visiting Ellis Island and talk more about their genealogy.

Keywords: Americanizing Jewish names; Concentration camps; Marriage

Subjects: Ellis Island Immigration Station (N.Y. and N.J.); Families.; Genealogy; Jews--Cultural assimilation--United States

00:15:31 - Importance of June 14th

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Partial Transcript: But I graduated from Centre College on June 14th, 1948. That was the summer. My father was going up to New York to buy, he had to leave everything.

Segment Synopsis: Vic talks about the importance of the date June 14 due to his graduation, wedding, and getting out of the Navy on June 14th. He talks about his children, where they live, and their careers.

Keywords: Careers; Children; Important dates; Jobs; Marriage; Military service; Schools

Subjects: Centre College (Danville, Ky.); Jewish families.

00:19:19 - Childhood in his family's store / business operations

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Partial Transcript: So did you grow up in the store then?

Segment Synopsis: Vic talks about whether he worked in his family’s store as a child. He talks about how the business operated including information on charge accounts and how they would transport money from cash registers to the office. He talks about how people used to get dressed up to go shopping and how things have changed since the 1950s. He talks about the relationship his family's store had with chain stores. He talks about whether he wanted to take over the family business. He describes the products they sold in the family store.

Keywords: "Main Street USA"; Brands; Charge accounts; Customers; Family stores; J.C. Penney; Merchandise; Percentage leases; Products; Shopping; Shopping centers; Sportswear; chain stores

Subjects: Jewish businesspeople; Jewish merchants--Kentucky--Lexington.

00:30:06 - Religion and non-traditional Jewish family

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Partial Transcript: So, um, was your, was your family religious? Or were they Jewish at one time, and then?

Segment Synopsis: Mary and Vic explain their families' religions and how Vic's father never talked about being Jewish. They talk about their relationships with their grandparents and how the relationship between their parents and grandparents. They talk about their own children and grandchildren.

Keywords: Family meals; Gentiles; Grandchildren; Grandparents; Presbyterian; Temple; Unusual family dynamics

Subjects: Families.; Jews--Cultural assimilation--United States; Jews--Identity.; Judaism; Religion

00:40:30 - Extended family / friends

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Partial Transcript: Did your family ever talk about this other family?

Segment Synopsis: Vic and Mary talk more about various relatives. They talk about the popularity of Main Street in Lexington. They talk about a friend named Copey that Vic met in the Navy and tell humorous stories about him.

Keywords: Copey Hymson; Extended family; Friends; Keeneland; Main Street (Lexington, Ky.); Swimming

Subjects: Families.; Lexington (Ky.); United States. Navy.

GPS: Lexington, Kentucky
Map Coordinates: 38.029722, -84.494722
00:46:35 - Shopkeepers / differences between family in Winchester and family in Lexington

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Partial Transcript: So did you know a lot of the shopkeepers, the people who owned stores in Lexington?

Segment Synopsis: Vic and Mary discuss their friendship with other shopkeepers. They talk more about their Jewish relatives, especially about the differences between the parts of the family from Winchester and those from Lexington.

Keywords: Family names; Jewish community; Jewish names; Shopkeepers; Sylvia Green; Synagogues; Temple

Subjects: Families.; Jewish businesspeople; Jewish merchants--Kentucky; Jews--Kentucky--Lexington.; Jews--Kentucky--Winchester

00:54:43 - Friends of various nationalities

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Partial Transcript: But, uh, Main Street had, uh--coughs--had all kinds of nationalities and they all got along beautifully.

Segment Synopsis: Vic and Mary explain how different nationalities worked together in Winchester. They talk about why certain families did not attend religious services. They tell several stories about Jewish names and being recognized as Jewish. The interview is concluded.

Keywords: Greek; Jewish; Jewish names; Lebanese; Lutheran; Main Street (Winchester, Ky.); Nationalities; New York; Playing the organ; Synagogues

Subjects: Lexington (Ky.).; Race Relations--Kentucky; Winchester (Ky.)